Taxol / Paclitaxel

Modified on 2009/10/14 21:41 by admin
Updated September 2007- Taxol, also known as paclitaxel, is manufactured by the Bristol-Myers Squibb Company. Taxol is used in the treatment of ovarian, breast, and lung cancers. The drug was first approved in 1992.

A pharmacist in Kansas City was recently arrested for dispensing drastically diluted Taxol to hundreds of cancer patients. Reports indicate that pharmacist Robert Courtney of the Research Medical Tower Pharmacy intentionally diluted the potentially life saving medication in an attempt to save money. If you or a family member have been victimized by this act of greed, it may be important to contact an attorney.

In a matter unrelated to the Kansas City incident, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently discovered that healthcare professionals have been confusing Taxol with another cancer fighting drug known as Taxotere. Because of the similarities in their names, the FDA issued a warning letter advising doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals to take care in ordering either Taxol or Taxotere from hospital pharmacies. The FDA recommends that healthcare professional double check their patients' filled prescriptions in order to protect against such mistakes.

A recent report published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute suggests that Taxol may cause a serious lung condition known as radiation pneumonitis. If untreated, radiation pneumonitis can lead to lung scaring and reduced lung capacity.

In July 2003, Bristol-Myers settled an antitrust lawsuit alleging that the pharmaceutical company fraudulently delayed the entry of lower-priced generic versions of Taxol in order to inflate the price of the medication. Patients who purchased Taxol between 1999 and 2003 are eligible for reimbursement under the settlement. Claims must be filed by November 14, 2003. In 2007, the Institute for Safe Medication Practices and the Division of Public Health Sciences, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, conducted a longitudinal Adverse Events Reporting System Review of the U.S. FDA's most dangerous drugs. The study found Taxol to be one of the most dangerous drugs on the market with some of the highest number of suspect drug deaths.  Taxol was the eleventh deadliest drug in the study, according to the FDA reports.  Over the eight years of the dangerous drug study, Taxol was found to have over 1,000 deaths in an 8-year period.

If you have been a victim of a serious Taxol or Taxotere mix-up, or have been otherwise harmed by these drugs, it may be important to contact an attorney who can help you protect your legal rights. Please keep in mind that there may be time limits within which you must commence suit.

See Also

  1. Cancer Drugs: Overview
  2. Cancer
  3. Radiation Pneumonitis: Overview
  Name Size